Signature Federal Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

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Updated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Signature Federal Credit Union’s checking account options

Standard Checking

A free checking account with a modest interest rate.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Free ATMs at CO-OP and Culiance network branches, of which there are over 30,000 nationwide; Signature Federal Credit Union does not charge a fee for out-of-network ATM use, but the providers of those ATMs likely will
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

This basic checking account earns interest, although the APY is minimal. But you won’t have to make a minimum opening deposit or pay any monthly fees to have this account. That it earns interest at all is generous.

You’ll also get a free order of standard checks each year and free ATM usage at a nationwide network of over 30,000 ATMs. The credit union also offers comprehensive online banking services and e-statements.

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Legacy Checking

A higher APY for members 55 and older.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Free ATMs at CO-OP and Culiance network branches; Signature Federal Credit Union does not charge a fee for out-of-network ATM use, but the providers of those ATMs likely will
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

Similar to the Standard Checking account, Signature Federal Credit Union’s Legacy Checking account has no minimum opening deposit requirement and doesn’t charge monthly service fees. You’ll also get access to a network of 30,000 free ATMs and a free box of checks each year.

The only difference between these two accounts is that Legacy Checking is only open to customers who are 55 or older. You’ll earn a slightly higher APY on this account without any minimum balance requirements.

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Choice Checking

If you meet certain requirements, the Choice Checking account allows you to choose whether you prefer a high-yield APY, ATM fee reimbursements or rewards points.
High-Yield Choice CheckingMinimum Balance to Earn APY
2.00%
$0.01
2.00%
$15,000.01
ATM/Rewards Choice CheckingMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Free ATMs at CO-OP and Culiance network branches; Signature Federal Credit Union does not charge a fee for out-of-network ATM use, but the providers of those ATMs likely will
  • ATM fee refund: If you choose ATM fee reimbursements as your preferred benefit, you’ll get up to $10 in ATM fees from out-of-network ATMs reimbursed each month
  • Overdraft fee: $30

As a Choice Checking account holder, you get to choose one benefit to be added to your account. The choice is between a higher dividend rate, up to $10 a month in out-of-network ATM fee reimbursements, or debit card reward points, depending on your goals and spending habits.

Although it has no monthly fees, you do have to meet certain requirements to qualify for the Choice Checking account. You’ll need to receive monthly direct deposits into your account of at least $1,000 and enroll in e-statements. Also, if you want to qualify for the high dividends benefit, you’ll need to make at least 10 in-store or online purchases each month on your debit card. The high-yield APY option is very high for a checking account, although if your account balance surpasses a limit that’s quite high for your everyday customer, your APY will be lowered to the standard rate.

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Student Checking

A free checking account with free ATMs nationwide.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Student Checking account holders get nationwide free ATMs; charges imposed for out-of-network ATM use may apply
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

This fee-free account designed for students earns interest, although the rate is so low that you’re unlikely to notice it grow. As an account holder, you’ll also get 100 free checks a year and free ATMs nationwide, which is an excellent benefit if you often find yourself having to use out-of-network ATMs.

You don’t have to maintain a minimum balance or deposit a certain amount to open this account. You’ll also get a Visa debit card that you can use worldwide.

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Youth Checking

A youth account with a higher APY to teach your kids money saving habits early.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Free ATMs at CO-OP and Culiance network branches; Signature Federal Credit Union does not charge out-of-network fees, but the providers of those ATMs likely will
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

Youth Checking accounts are open to those ages 13 to 17. To open an account, you must have a qualified adult guardian who is age 18 or older as a joint account holder on your Youth Checking account. You’ll get a Visa debit card that can be used worldwide once you open the account. It doesn’t come with checks.

As a Youth Checking account holder, you’ll earn interest at a slightly higher rate than the credit union’s standard APY. You won’t have to worry about monthly fees or maintaining a minimum balance, and you’ll have access to more than 30,000 free in-network ATMs.

How to get Signature Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts

To open a checking account at Signature Federal Credit Union, you’ll need to first become a member. You can fill out a membership application online, which will ask you to select your eligibility for membership. If you’re approved, you’ll need to open a savings account and deposit $5.

After that, you can submit an application for your preferred checking account online. If you’re already a member, you don’t need to apply for a checking account. You can email or call the credit union’s member services department at 800-336-0284, ext. 684, to get your new checking account set up.

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How Signature Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

This credit union offers a variety of checking account options. All of them come with no monthly fees, no opening deposit requirements and no minimum balance requirements to earn interest — and they all earn interest. You also don’t have to worry about Signature Federal Credit Union charging for ATM fees whether you’re using an in-network or out-of-network ATM.

While some of the best online checking accounts earn significantly higher interest rates, the checking account options at Signature Federal Credit Union are still excellent for the low fees and minimal account requirements. What’s more, its Choice Checking account earns a higher interest rate than almost any of the best online checking accounts if you select the high-yield APY benefit and meet certain requirements.

Signature Federal Credit Union’s savings account options

Savings

This interest-bearing account has no monthly fees and a low opening deposit.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Free ATMs at CO-OP and Culiance network branches; Signature Federal Credit Union does not charge a fee for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

You’ll need to meet a minimum balance threshold to start earning interest on this account, but the required amount is easy to meet. The minimum balance requirement is based on your average daily balance.

If you meet the APY threshold, the interest rate is fairly low for a savings account. But there’s also a very low minimum opening deposit requirement. You won’t have to pay a monthly service fee or maintain a certain balance to have this savings account.

As per Federal Reserve Regulation D, savings and money market accounts such as this one are limited to six certain withdrawals or transfers a month.

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Youth Savings account

Children ages 17 and younger earn higher interest rates with this free savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.35%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Free ATMs at CO-OP and Culiance network branches; no fee for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

Signature Federal Credit Union’s Youth Savings account offers a higher APY to help encourage kids and teens to start saving early. Once you’re 18 years or older, you can no longer have a Youth Savings account.

To open this account, a qualified adult guardian must be added as a joint account holder. Students can participate in a rewards program that offers promotional deposits for excellent grades by submitting their report cards. You’re allowed up to six certain monthly withdrawals or transfers on this account, a requirement put in place by Regulation D.

How to get Signature Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts

Opening a savings account with a $5 deposit is the first step to joining Signature Federal Credit Union. You’ll need to first establish your membership eligibility by filling out an online membership application. The application is brief and asks you to supply your reasons for eligibility, as well as a photo of your government-issued ID.

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How Signature Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Compared to the best online savings accounts, Signature Federal Credit Union’s savings options are significantly behind in terms of rates. None of these account options offer a high-yield APY.

That being said, they also come with no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements, and opening an account is as easy as depositing five dollars. It’s worth noting that a few online savings accounts also come with no monthly fees and low minimum opening deposits but earn far higher interest rates.

Signature Federal Credit Union’s CD rates

Share Certificates

These certificates have a low opening deposit and come in terms ranging from three months to five years.
TermAPY
3 months0.35%
  6 months0.35%
  9 months0.45%
  12 months0.50%
  18 months0.60%
  24 months0.65%
  3 years0.70%
  4 years0.75%
  5 years0.80%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: The early withdrawal penalty depends on the certificate term; you’ll pay half of the interest that would be earned throughout the full term of the certificate.

In exchange for leaving your account balance untouched for the full term, you’ll earn a significantly higher APY than you would with Signature Federal Credit Union savings accounts. Its Share Certificates come in a variety of terms, including three month and 18 month certificates, which can be harder to find. Minimum opening deposits on these certificates are fairly standard.

You can’t make additional deposits once your Share Certificate has been opened. If you withdraw your money before the term is up, a sizable penalty will be incurred. At the end of your term, you can opt to withdraw your funds or roll them into a new certificate at new rates.

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Jumbo Share Certificates

Earn a higher APY for a larger opening deposit.
TermAPY
1 year0.50%
  2 years0.65%
  3 years0.70%
  4 years0.75%
  5 years0.80%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on the certificate term; you’ll pay half of the interest that would be earned throughout the full term of the certificate

Signature Federal Credit Union’s Jumbo Share Certificates are for customers who can make a large opening deposit. By maintaining a high balance, you’ll earn a slightly higher interest rate.

The Jumbo Share Certificates have fewer term options than the Share Certificates, with the shortest term option being a year. Withdrawing your money before the term is complete will result in a substantial penalty.

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EZ Save Certificate

You can open this certificate with a very low minimum deposit and add to it throughout the term.
TermAPY
1 Year1.00%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $50
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Half of the interest that would be earned throughout the full term

For customers who want some added flexibility, Signature Federal Credit Union offers the EZ Save Certificate. This certificate comes in only one term option — one year — but the minimum opening deposit and minimum balance to earn APY are far lower than what’s required for the Share Certificate. You’ll still get the same interest rate.

You can also add money to this certificate whenever you want, making it a great option for people who want to start out with a small opening deposit and add money as they earn it. You still have to pay an early withdrawal penalty if you take out your money before the term is over.

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Advantage Certificate

A limited-time promotion that offers a higher APY.
TermAPY
13 months2.75%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Half of the interest that would be earned throughout the full term

The Advantage Certificate is a limited-time promotion offered by Signature Federal Credit Union that gives customers a promotional rate on 13 month certificates. This rate is notably higher than the APYs on most of its Share Certificates. Apart from the special rate, this certificate is identical to the credit union’s Share Certificates.

How to get Signature Federal Credit Union’s certificates

If you’re already a member of Signature Federal Credit Union, you can open a certificate by calling or emailing its member services department. If you’re not a member, you’ll need to first fill out a membership application form, which can be found online. If you’re eligible, the credit union requires you to open a savings account and deposit $5 to initiate your membership.

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How Signature Federal Credit Union’s certificate rates compare

From better rates for higher balances to promotional certificates and certificates with low opening deposits that you can add money to as you go, Signature Federal Credit Union offers a certificate option for everyone. They come in a variety of terms with minimum balance requirements for all budgets.

But if you compare its certificates to the best CD rates, even its Jumbo Share Certificates fall short. The only options that perform well when compared to the competition are the EZ Share Certificate, for its extremely low minimum opening deposit, and the Advantage Certificate, for its promotional APY.

Signature Federal Credit Union’s money market account options

Money Market

A money market account with no opening deposit requirement and a low minimum balance to earn APY.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.30%
$500
0.35%
$10,000
0.40%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Free ATMs at CO-OP and Culiance network branches; no out-of-network fee
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

With Signature Federal Credit Union’s Money Market account, you’ll earn a rate higher than its standard savings rate. But you do have to maintain a larger minimum balance to earn interest on this account. Dividends are also tiered, which means that larger balances will earn more generous rates.

There’s no early withdrawal penalty associated with money market accounts, but you can only make six withdrawals a month. This account also comes with 50 free checks a year.

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Legacy Money Market

Earn an extra 0.10% APY if you’re age 55 or older.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.40%
$500
0.45%
$10,000
0.50%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Free ATMs at CO-OP and Culiance network branches; no out-of-network fees
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

The Legacy Money Market account has the same requirements in terms of minimum balances and opening deposits as the regular Money Market account. The differences are that it’s only open to customers 55 or older and it earns a slightly higher APY. You’re still limited to six transactions a month, and you’ll get 50 free checks a year.

How to get Signature Federal Credit Union’s Money Market account

Members of Signature Federal Credit Union can call the membership services department to open a new money market account. If you’re not a member of the credit union, you can fill out an online membership application to determine your eligibility. Once approved, you’ll need to open a savings account with a $5 deposit to become a member, and then you can open a money market account.

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How Signature Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

The best money market rates outperform both of Signature Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts by a significant margin. While most of them have a higher APY requirement, several have no minimum balance requirements. Neither Signature Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts nor the best money market accounts charge monthly service fees.

Signature Federal Credit Union’s IRA account options

IRA Certificate

An IRA Certificate with a variety of terms.
TermAPY
3 months0.35%
 6 months0.35%
 9 months0.45%
 12 months0.50%
 18 months0.60%
 24 months0.65%
 3 years0.70%
 4 years0.75%
 5 years0.80%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Half of the interest that would be earned throughout the full term of the certificate

Signature Federal Credit Union offers its Share Certificates as IRA Certificates with the same flexibility on terms and interest rates. These IRA Certificates are available for both traditional and Roth IRAs. Once you’ve opened your IRA Certificate, no additional deposits can be made.

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IRA Jumbo Certificate

Higher interest for a higher account balance.
TermAPY
1 year 0.50%
2 years0.65%
3 years0.70%
4 years0.75%
5 years0.80%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Half of the interest that would be earned throughout the full term of the certificate

Jumbo Share Certificates can be opened as either regular Share Certificates or IRA Certificates, with the same rates and term options. You’ll earn a higher interest rate for making a larger opening deposit with these certificates. You can’t add money to your IRA Jumbo Certificate once it’s been opened.

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How Signature Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

The best IRA CD rates are quite a bit higher than the rates offered by Signature Federal Credit Union’s IRA Certificates. Even when compared to IRA CDs with similar or lower minimum opening deposit requirements, Signature Federal Credit Union’s offerings fall short.

IRA Savings

Earn interest with no minimum balance requirement.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Free ATMs at CO-OP and Culiance network branches; no out-of-network fees
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

Signature Federal Credit Union offers both traditional IRA and Roth IRA savings accounts. Traditional IRA accounts allow you to make tax-deferred contributions to your savings, while Roth IRA accounts allow contributions after tax. With both accounts, you’ll have to wait until you’re age 59 ½ to withdraw money if you want to avoid penalties. It’s recommended that you consult a tax advisor about opening an IRA savings account. As with any savings account regulated by Federal Reserve Regulation D, you’re only allowed six certain transfers and withdrawals per month.

How to get Signature Federal Credit Union’s IRA Savings account

You can fill out a membership application online to join Signature Federal Credit Union. To become a member, you’ll need to meet the membership eligibility requirements discussed at the beginning of this review, and you’ll need to open a savings account with a $5 opening deposit. After that, you can speak with member services about opening an IRA Savings account.

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on Signature Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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Overall review of Signature Federal Credit Union’s banking products

Signature Federal Credit Union shines when it comes to its low fees. None of this credit union’s accounts charge monthly fees or require that you maintain a minimum monthly balance, which is a huge plus. While some have minimum opening deposit requirements, they’re all quite low. Although only one account offers ATM reimbursements for fees charged by other ATM providers, the credit union itself doesn’t assess a fee for out-of-network ATM usage, and they have a large network of 30,000 ATMs for members to use.

The checking accounts offered by Signature Federal Credit Union are especially worth considering. Not only do they come with virtually no fees, but they all earn interest — and some of them come with extra perks. It might also be worth building a relationship with this credit union if you’re hoping to access some of its credit and lending services in the future.

When it comes to rates offered by its savings, money market, certificate and IRA accounts, Signature Federal Credit Union doesn’t fare as well. While its fees are still low, the APY on these accounts is rarely competitive. It does have a couple of certificates worth considering due to promotional rates and low minimum opening deposit requirements. But this credit union might not be the best place to park large sums of money.

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